The sub-title says that the wisdom of the ancient goddess is for pagans and Wiccans but I think it's for anyone and everyone. The author approaches the knowledge in the book from the sacred, just as she did with Tree Magic. And, I'm assuming, also.with her other books: Sea Magic, Star Magic Plant Magic, the Herb Gardener's Essential Guide and Whispers From the Woods.

The author's gift is the ability to take the commonplace and the ordinary and turn it into something magical. She helps you find those ordinary things and sheds light on why they're magical. Early man had no televisions, no radios, no telephones, no books to turn to, no libraries to walk into.. He could only observe what was going on around him. And he had no way of knowing what it all meant. So he looked in everyday Nature for signs and at extraordinary events, like eclipses, for omens.

We usually look at goddesses in a human form but bird goddesses were among the earliest and best-documented. Egyptian goddesses, especially, were often depicted with the birds sacred to them. Several tribal dances of various cultures featured the dancers garbed to resemble birds as they petitioned the particular bird for whatever the tribe needed, like rain or a good hunting season.

Birds also figured in divination practices. It's often cited as a joke, but some shamans did use chicken guts to foretell the future. Or chicken bones. Any number of birds served as augerys, ravens among them. Birds used for prophetic messages include eagles and falcons, owls, crows , woodpeckers and doves .Birds were also related to shape-shifting.

Birds served as weather indicators. The ancients observed flight patterns, bird calls, locations, nesting habits. Birds' two outstanding features didn't go unnoticed by early Man. Eggs represented birth and rebirth: life itself. A fun fact is that fringe, usually on a shirt or jacket, represents feathers. Man has always envied birds' ability to fly.

There are many interesting facts throughout the book, which is well-researched. Even the appendices have really interesting information. The author urges you to go outside and connect with birds on a spiritual level. Try to find one that is your totem or will be your companion.

Make your yard bird-friendly by providing food, water and shelter and invite birds into the yard. It's a bonus if you can also  put up a birdhouse and a bird bath. The Audubon Society will appreciate you. The book features a listing of over 60 species of birds and includes the name, an illustration. habitat, description of its eggs, magical workings, astrological association and connections to a god or goddess.

A timely, fun fact is that the breaking of the Thanksgiving turkey's wishbone is a holdover from bird divination practices in southern Germany

~review by Judy Blackstone

Author:Sandra Kynes
Llewellyn Publications, 2021
267 pp. $19.99